Route Analysis: Cluj-Milan

Blue Air will compete with Hungary’s Wizz Air on a city-pair basis.

Romania’s Blue Air is expanding its network from the northwestern city of Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) this summer, launching 14 new international routes and one domestic service.

The new international routes will be operated to Amsterdam (AMS), Barcelona (BCN), Burgas (BOJ), Brussels (BRU), Hamburg (HAM), Cologne/Bonn (CGN), Larnaca (LCA), London Heathrow (LHR) Madrid (MAD), Milan Linate (LIN), Paris (CDG), Rome (FCO) and Stuttgart (STR). Flights will also resume to Dublin (DUB).

On the CLJ-LIN sector, the airline intends to provide 2X-weekly flights to the Italian city from June 1 through Oct. 30 on board Boeing 737-800 aircraft. Blue Air will compete indirectly with ULCC Wizz Air, which serves CLJ-Milan Bergamo (BGY). According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Wizz intends to provide daily service between the destinations this summer using Airbus A320s.

CLJ-LIN

Carrier:

Blue Air

Aircraft:

Boeing 737-800

Frequency:

2X-weekly

Start date:

June 1, 2021

Distance:

1,112 km

O&D traffic demand ({{2019}}):

118,500

Annual growth:

12.3%

Average base fare ({{2019}}):

$51.74

“The landing of these new flights at Linate represents an important improvement of the city airport connectivity and creates additional market opportunities to the benefit of all passengers, business operators and resident communities in Milan and Lombardy,” said Andrea Tucci, VP aviation business development at LIN operator SEA Milan Airports. 

“Blue Air operates international point-to-point air services to EU destinations and therefore represents an ideal partner to develop Linate network.” 

O&D traffic between Cluj-Napoca and Milan was 118,500 two-way passengers in 2019, up by 12.3% on the previous 12 months. The latest data provided by Sabre Market Intelligence shows the figure dropped to about 56,000 two-way passengers in 2020 because of the pandemic. 

In February 2021, Moldovan startup HiSky opened a base at CLJ from where it plans to launch two routes starting in April. The airline intends to fly from to DUB on April 22, serving Ireland’s capital 2X-weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. Flights to Lisbon (LIS) in Portugal will start three days later, with the route set to operate 2X-weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays.

HiSky will compete on the service to DUB Blue Air, which plans to offer 3X-weekly flights during the summer 2021 season using 737-800s. However, the route to LIS will become CLJ’s first direct flights to the Portuguese capital. 

Photo credit: Nigel Howarth / Aviation Week Network